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Jul 16, 2011 04:03 PM

Birthday cake for one-year old?

The tradition in our family has always been to bake a small cake for the first birthday, step back, turn on the video camera, and watch him go bananas on it. The tradition has also been to serve them your standard fare crappy kids' foods as well, so we have ourselves a quandary...

Chowpuppy turns 1 next week and has never had more sugar than 1/4 tsp brown on his oatmeal - and that maybe twice. He can have eggs and yogurt, but no other dairy, and no nuts or food coloring. He's pretty particular about what he'll eat, so I'd really like to make him something surprisingly delicious so he'll go crazy over it for the grandparents' video - I'm not too concerned with overloading him with sugar for the first time in his life since it's just one day, but I AM concerned about what the diapers will look like if I do, and I don't want to make him sick.

I'm thinking of subbing out most of the oil or butter in a standard cake recipe with applesauce or banana and cutting the sugar in half, but I think that will make it too dry and then he won't eat it. And maybe just yogurt for the frosting, or will it soak in before I can give it to him? We already get crap from our families for not serving him "anything yummy" like McDonald's, so I want to keep the cake looking as normal as possible or I'll never hear the end of it. Thoughts and ideas?

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  1. I don't have any good suggestions. The only thing I know is that I went crazy (exaggerated) with my birthday cake when I was one, playing and grabbing the whip cream and squeezing the cake. So I strongly suggest you to put as much cream on the cake as possible and wait for him to "godzilla" on the cake. You should make the cake as normal as possible. Afterall there are guests too. Just don't feed the one year old godzilla too much of the normal cake.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Sorry, just to clarify - I plan on making a normal cake for the guests. This small one is just for him and no one has to know what it tastes like, as long as he likes it...but he can't handle any dairy other than cooked eggs or yogurt. He breaks out in terrible eczema. So the whipped cream is out, unfortunately. =(

      1. re: thursday

        "So the whipped cream is out, unfortunately. =("

        Can you just let him play with the whipped cream, but not eat it :)

        Well, then using a lot of frosting then. He needs to play with the cake.

    2. how about an "ice cream" cake made with homemade frozen yogurt?

      if you want to go with a baked cake, yogurt would work for the "frosting" if you use really thick Greek strained yogurt sweetened with powdered can even thicken & stabilize it further with powdered egg whites. or make an Italian meringue (aka 7-minute) frosting from egg whites - no dairy required.

      there are tofu and other soy options as well, but i'm always hesitant to recommend soy for a child who already has multiple sensitivities.

      1. Carrot cake comes to mind as an alternative to a standard cake. Carrot cakes are more adaptable for subbing out the oil and sugar with applesauce and banana puree.

        As to the frosting, I don't know what to say about that. You can try looking up vegan ideas for frosting. I don't know how it would taste.

        I would be surprised that a 1 year old would be too particular. Maybe a devil's food cake would be too "strong" for him.

        Hmmm... maybe an angel's food cake is more to your liking. The yogurt can be used as a glaze with fruit filled down the center to make it look appealing.

        1. You can do quick bread, use applesauce for the oil/butter and cut back on the sugar and still have it taste good to a baby. If you do half oil and half applesauce, I think few people would be able to tell. Try something like a sweet potato quick bread and make it in a muffin tin as a cup cake. With the sweet potato, I've been able to cut up to half the sugar. This used to be my go-to bread for playing around w/ when my kids were younger:

          I'll bet you can make a yogurt frosting if you start out w/ yogurt cheese (drain it overnight in cheesecloth or coffee filter), add powdered sugar and orange juice until you get the right consistency.

          2 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              This looks fantastic for the icing! Looks real, and seems simple enough - thanks!

              The bread is a good idea and is the way I've been leaning myself - I really don't mind him splurging on the sugar, I just worry it will give him diarrhea since he's never had it. But a moist bread that's not so sugar dependent already may be just the trick...

              Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I think I'll do a couple of muffin-size trial runs over the next few days to taste for myself...

          1. For what it's worth, our grandson who is just 10mo had a Half-Birthday cake. It was a marble cake I made from a conventional recipe, layered with buttercream and then cut in half for serving.

            He has been raised thus far on good homemade whole food of a rather conventional sort (steel cut oatmeal, chicken pot pie, starch/veggie/meat combos, etc). Like you, thursday, we have avoided sugar entirely using only juice concentrate for sweetening appropriate things like his oatmeal. BUT when the cake was served, he had a healthy pinch of it. When his first birthday comes he'll have another cake and get to have a bit of that too.

            I don't think, and my daughter doesn't think, that a bit of something special for a special occasion is a mistake. We won't give him candy. We'll stick to fruit for dessert. But a birthday is a birthday and allowing these things into the greater pattern of food and experience and Life is a way of not creating an obsession to our way of thinking.

            I'm sure what you ultimately decide on will be fine. Enjoy a very wonderful occasion!